What are the most popular video games to play online? Here’s a list of the top 10 most-played games in 2023.
In today’s fast-paced world, where entertainment is just a few clicks away, video games have taken the world by storm. Gaming has become more than just a hobby, it’s a culture.
With millions of gamers all over the world, the gaming industry has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. But why do people engage in gaming? It’s simple, really. Gaming is a form of escape, a way to unwind after a long day at work, and a way to connect with people from all over the world. It allows gamers to immerse themselves in a virtual world where they can become anyone and do anything.
Streamers, especially those on Twitch and other live streaming platforms, have had a significant impact on the gaming industry. One of the biggest ways they have influenced gaming is by creating a new form of entertainment that combines gaming with live broadcasting. Through their streams, they have created a community of gamers who gather to watch and interact with them while they play.
Streamers have also helped to popularize certain games and make them more mainstream. When a popular streamer plays a game, it can generate a lot of interest in that game and encourage others to give it a try. This has led to some games experiencing a surge in popularity and sales, even years after their initial release.
Furthermore, streamers have become influential figures in the gaming industry, with some even having the power to make or break a game. When a streamer with a large following plays a new game and gives it a positive review, it can lead to a significant increase in sales and success for that game.
In addition, streamers have also paved the way for new careers in the gaming industry. Many successful streamers have turned their hobby into a full-time job, earning income through sponsorships, advertisements, and donations from their followers.
In this article, TheDistin will take a look at the top 10 most played and popular video games in the world that have captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. So, get ready to be blown away by the world of gaming!
First place goes to Minecraft, a sandbox video game that’s sold over 176 million copies.
Mine Craft is a 3D sandbox game that has no rules and lets players make whatever they want. Along with spectator mode, the game’s models include survival mode, adventure mode, and creative mode. The customers like playing this straightforward yet captivating game. Minecraft is the most popular game worldwide, having sold millions of copies.
Released by Mojang in 2011, the premise of the game is to allow players to build anything they like using blocks, as well as exploring, crafting, gathering resources, and combat.
The game has won numerous awards, received critical acclaim, and been described as one of the most influential games in history.
In the middle of 2018, Minecraft had around 91 million active monthly players, and by May 2019, it became the best-selling video game of all time.
Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. In Fortnite, players collaborate to survive in an open-world environment, by battling other characters who are controlled either by the game itself or by other players. The single-player or co-operative (played with friends) mode, called ‘Save the World’, involves fighting off zombie-like creatures.
It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine: Fortnite Battle Royale, a free-to-play battle royale game in which up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing; Fortnite: Save the World, a cooperative hybrid tower defense-shooter and survival game in which up to four players fight off zombie-like creatures and defend objects with traps and fortifications they can build; and Fortnite Creative, in which players are given complete freedom to create worlds and battle arenas.
As new trends develop, Fortnite continuously transforms into a new version of itself with new features and gimmicks. Due to the battle pass material, it is practically a new game every month. To stay popular, it has also managed to get ingrained in mainstream culture through working with singers and celebrity figures.
3. Call of Duty
First on the list of the most popular video games of all time is Call of Duty. This is a first-person shooter video game series created by Infinity Ward.
The series was published by Activision and most of the games have been developed by Infinity Ward and Treyarch, though some were developed by Amaze Entertainment and Gray Matter Interactive Studios. Newer entries have been released on a yearly basis with Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch interchanging as producers each year.
Call of Duty, the first installment in the series, won over eighty Game of the Year awards in 2003. In 2005, Call of Duty 2 was the first Xbox 360 title to sell one million copies and was the bestselling game of that year. In 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a critical and commercial success, being the bestselling game of 2007 and having sold 10 million copies by June 2008.
This first-person shooter was released on November 2011 by Activision and has since sold a staggering 26,500,000 copies. In the year it was released, it won the Spike Video Games Award for Best Shooter.
Overall, the franchise has earned over $30 billion since the first installment in 2003, with cumulative sales exceeding 425 million copies. As of Q2 2021, it is one of Activision Blizzard’s three largest franchises, alongside Candy Crush and World of Warcraft.
Some series of Call of duty are; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty WW2, Call of Duty: Warzone, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Black Ops 4: A Call to Duty, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, just to mention a few.
4. Grand Theft Auto
If you’re unfamiliar with the Grand Theft Auto franchise, then it’s well worth your time to check it out, as it’s one of the most popular games of all time.
Grand Theft Auto is a series of action-adventure games created by David Jones and Mike Dailly. Later titles were developed under the oversight of brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies, and Aaron Garbut.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA San Andreas is played in a third-person perspective and set in San Andreas, a fictional state in the U.S. heavily influenced by California and Nevada.
As a single-player, you get to interact with the world around you and pretty much do what you want.
The mission is to resurrect your old criminal gang and find out the truth behind your mother’s murder.
GTA: San Andreas was developed by Rockstar North, published by Rockstar Games, and has sold approximately 27,500,000 copies.
Grand Theft Auto V
Coming in at number three on our list of the most popular video games of all time is the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V.
This game is best described as an action-adventure video game with an XXX rating.
Released in 2013 by Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto V, or GTA V as it’s more commonly known follows the same concept as the last games in the series. However, this time, it follows three convicts as they try to evade the government in the fictional city of Los Santos.
GTA V can be played from either a first-person or third-person perspective.
The game was so heavily marketed and eagerly anticipated, that when it was finally released it sold over $800 million dollars on its first day and over $1 billion within its first three days!
To date, GTA V is the fastest-selling entertainment product in history!
5. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
Selling 50 million copies worldwide, PUBG is an absolute behemoth of a video game success.
It’s a battle-royal style game, which means that multiple players are dropped onto an island and left to find weapons to kill each other in a free for all style.
It can be pretty epic, as up to 100 players can participate in each time.
Each game has a safe area which gradually decreases over time, meaning players are forced to fight, so there’s no safe place to hide as time ticks on.
PUBG received positive reviews upon release and has been nominated for several industry awards.
PUBG’s Battle Royale Mode
Over 100 different nations rank PUBG among the top smartphone games of all time. Strong shooter gameplay is the basis of this game. The PUBG Corporation capitalized on its Python experience and utilized it to produce an all-time favorite battle royale mobile gaming app. They teamed up with the animated series Arcane to introduce Runeterra into the PUBG Mobile.
What makes PUBG unique is its emphasis on realism and its most well-known component, the battle royale idea. PUBG’s several modes, in which players take turns individually or collectively, are the game’s central focus. In the last-man-standing game type known as Battle Royale Mode, the players must take out their rivals to win.
Pokémon is a series of video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company under the Pokémon media franchise.
The first of two Pokémon game series on our list is Pokémon Gold, Silver & Crystal.
This Pokémon collection has sold close to 30,000,000 copies worldwide since its release on November 1999.
It was developed by Game Freak and published on the Game Boy colour and is the second generation in the Pokémon series.
As a player, you’re on a quest to master the Pokémon battling, and along your journey, you’re able to encounter over 100 new species of Pokémon.
In just over 1o year, sales of Pokémon Gold, Silver & Crystal reached 23 million units.
Arguably one of the best games of all time; Pokémon Red, Blue, Green & Yellow were some of the most addictive, fun, and exciting games ever created.
If you grew up when this game was released then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
It was so good, and so addictive, that you literally couldn’t put your Game Boy down.
Sick days from school became enjoyable (and intentional), and many nights were spent leveling up and catching all the elusive Pokémon.
So, if you haven’t played this one, you need to do it asap! Grab a GameBoy color on eBay, get Pokémon blue, and lock yourself away!
7. Apex Legends
Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale-hero shooter game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It was released for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One in February 2019, for Nintendo Switch in March 2021, and for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in March 2022.
Since its debut, Apex Legends has been discussed in the press. The game’s setting is an island where 20 three-person squads or 30 two-person teams will go in search of supplies and weapons to beat other players. The island keeps getting smaller as the game goes on, turning it into a life-or-death situation. The round is won by the side that remains active until the very end. The game supports play across platforms.
The game earned a spot among the best video games with a superhero theme in 2023.
You can also try League of Legends
League of Legends has more than 150 million registered players, making it a huge success. Every level in this strategy game offers something fresh and exciting.
Players in this game cooperate as two teams of five strong champions.
Additionally, they must compete to destroy the rival core structure, which is guarded by the enemy’s team structures. In 2009, when this game first came out, it hardly had any genre competitors. This famous fight game, which is produced by Riot Games, is played by millions of people worldwide.
First released on Microsoft Windows on May 16, 2011, Terraria is classed as an action-adventure game.
Selling over 27 million copies by May 2019, Terraria has done very well.
The game is presented in a 2D format, allowing players to explore, create, build, and mine things, and fight with different creatures.
It’s similar to Minecraft but has its own unique elements that make it fun to play.
Terraria was developed and published by RE-Logic.
9. Wii Games
Developed specifically for the Wii console and released in February 2007, Wii Play has sold over 28 million copies worldwide.
The game itself is a collection of smaller games, such as a fishing game, a shooting game, a billiards game, a Duck Hunt, and more.
The games are designed to use the controller’s different functionalities.
Wii Play initially got some criticism upon its first release, however, it has since gone on to do very well, partly due to the fact it came with an additional Wii controller at the time of release.
Now, it’s the fifth best-selling game of all time for the Wii.
If you like sports games and like to get a little bit physical when playing, Wii Sports could be just the game for you.
Released in 2006, Wii Sports was included with the console as a “pack-in game”. This made it the first game to be included with a Nintendo system since Mario Tennis for the Virtual Boy in 1995.
In a nutshell, the game is a collection of sports simulations, including tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing.
You use the Wii Remote to perform actions and moves that you would do in the real-life version of each sport.
The game has won a number of awards since its release in 2006 and sold 82 million copies by the end of 2017.
Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus
Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus are the perfect games to play if you’re looking to get your workout in at home.
Best described as “exergaming” video games, they include several different activities to keep you occupied and fit.
Both versions include a Wii balance board, which is an extra piece of equipment that you stand on to perform the exercises that track your center of balance.
Some of the activities include yoga, aerobics, strength training, and balance games.
Wii Fit Plus is the enhanced version of Wii Fit. It comes with 15 more balance and aerobics games and 6 new strength and yoga activities.
The combined sales of these two games come in at almost 44 million copies.
You should definitely try it if you’re looking to do some more exercise without leaving the comfort of your own home.
10. The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls is a series of action role-playing video games primarily developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The series focuses on free-form gameplay in an open world. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim all won Game of the Year awards from multiple outlets.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The thirteenth most popular video game of all time is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Selling more than 30,000,000 copies worldwide, this game has gained a serious following, mainly due to the success of the other four games in the series.
As a player, you’re tasked with a quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon who is forecasted to destroy the world.
Similar to Diablo III, throughout the course of the game, you try to level up your player’s skills and abilities by completing quests.
Developed by Bethesda Game Studios & published by Bethesda Softworks, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is certainly worth some gameplay time if you have some time to spare.
11. Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros. is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
The successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. and the first game in the Super Mario series, it was first released in 1985 for the Famicom in Japan. Following a limited US release for the NES, it was ported to international arcades for the Nintendo VS. System in early 1986. The NES version received a wide release in North America that year and in PAL regions in 1987.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The next most popular video game of all time is New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Released in 2009 by Nintendo, NSMB has sold over 30 million copies to date.
It’s the sequel to the 2006 version of Super Mario Bros and did really well with critics upon release.
As a player, you help “Mario”, navigate his way through eight different worlds to rescue Princess Peach.
Along the way, you’ll be fighting off Big Bowser’s henchman and completing other, smaller tasks.
It’s a fantastic multiplayer game, with Luigi and Toad being your multi-player companions.
New Super Mario Bros
As we just mentioned, New Super Mario Bros is the first generation of the NSMB games.
It was released in 2006 by Nintendo and this version has sold close to 31 million copies worldwide.
The game received good reviews overall, however, its only real criticism was that it could be perceived as being a little too “simple”.
However, despite the criticism, numbers don’t lie. Its sales figures show that people obviously enjoy its simplicity. Furthermore, the game is now the best-selling DS game of all time.
Definitely check this video game out if you haven’t already!
Summary of the most played/popular video games in 2023
Here’s a quick recap of the 20 most popular video games of all time:
- Call of Duty
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Players Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG)
- PUBG’s Battle Royale Mode
- Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow
- Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
- Apex Legends
- League Legends
- Wii Games
- Wii Sports
- Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus
- Mario Kart Wii
- Wii Sports Resort
- Duck Hunt
- Will Play
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Diablo III & Reaper of Souls
- Super Mario Bros
- New Super Mario Bros
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii